Alabama is off in Week 6 of the 2019 college football season, but the Crimson Tide was still featured on Saturday’s “College GameDay” on ESPN.

The GameDay crew is in Gainesville, Florida for the Auburn-Florida game, but UA coach Nick Saban was able to talk to Rece Davis and company from his home. Saban touched on turning to young players, the injury situation, new coaches on his staff, Tua Tagovailoa’s second season as a starter and more:

  • On playing so many young players and the bye week: “When you’re coaching young players it’s a lot like teaching an AP course in high school for gifted kids. It’s very challenging. You do the best to prepare them from a knowledge and experience standpoint. They have to go through it. They have to go through the process and make some mistakes. You reinforce the positives and correct the negatives. Hopefully, the improve with this knowledge and experience.”
  • On message to his team with so many injuries: “You have to have the philosophy that it’s the next guy up. It’s unfortunate that we’ve had some really good players, from their standpoint, not be able to participate this year but it’s created opportunities for other players. As coaches and as other players, we look to support those players in a positive way so that we can get them to play winning football and the best chance to be successful in the future.”
    On so many new coaches this year: “It’s been good. I like the coaches that we have. They all buy in. They do a great job with their relationships with players, which I think is one of the most important things assistant coaches have to have. They’re knowledgeable. They work hard. We’ve had some unfortunate circumstances with some experienced players that have challenged all of us to get these guys the resiliency that they need to be able to adjust when things go poorly. When things go well, be able to bounce back. Resilience is about getting back to normal when good or bad happens. Young guys have a harder time with that. That comes with maturity. Our staff has really worked hard to help our players do that.”
  • On Tagovailoa’s second year as starting QB: “I think he was an outstanding performer a year ago. But I do think that one of the things (Steve Sarkisian) has done, Tua probably has a better understanding of what we do on offense and expect from him, and he has a much better understanding of what the other team is doing on defense. He understands the coverages better, which makes him be able to make quicker decisions. He’s always been a very instinctive guy. His reaction to what other teams is better this year than it was a year ago.”
  • On the last time he got into the pool behind him: “We’ve lived here for 13 years. I never got in this pool for the first 10 years that we lived here. Now, we have a granddaughter and I’m in the pool all the time. I was in the pool last Sunday. … We were doing cannonballs and all the things you do when you’re a kid.”